“Roadie Scum”? Now I am one.

As a teenager I discovered mountain biking, thanks to the affordable bikes from Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative, the nearby Pentland Hills, and an enthusiastic younger brother.

Like many kids that age, we read MBUK and adorned our bikes and equipment with free stickers. We read Mint Sauce, the cartoon strip about a mountain biking sheep.

And we just didn’t get why a roadie would want to spend hours on the flat tarmac when there were hills, bumps and mud to be enjoyed. “Roadie scum!” was the not-completely-tongue-in-cheek battle cry.

I have just completed my debut road racing season, and although I got a kicking, I am hungry for more. Instead of getting out on the trails and getting muddy, my thoughts veer towards winter training: ‘base miles’, turbo trainers and zone 1 heart rates; and saving up for race wheels, winter training kit, and team kit. Somehow I have become one of those ‘roadie scum’.

Mint Sauce was created by Jo Burt and published every month in Mountain Biking UK. Mint Sauce is copyright and is not used here with permission – hope this is not a problem!

Further reading: The bigamist By Dave Barter